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UCLA football: Mike Johnson set to become Bruins' assistant

January 18, 2011 |  4:31 pm

Mike Johnson has reached an agreement in principle to become an assistant coach at UCLA, according to a person inside the program who was not authorized to speak on the matter.

Johnson, who spent the last two seasons as an assistant with the San Francisco 49ers, could be in place by the end of the week. His duties have yet to be defined, but with Norm Chow’s status unclear, he could take over the offensive coordinator spot.

Johnson has been a wide receiver and quarterback coach in the NFL and at Oregon State. He was the offensive coordinator for the 49ers last season.

Chow has a two-year contract extension worth about $1 million. His situation has been tenuous since November, when Coach Rick Neuheisel declined to commit to bring him back. Chow could be demoted or negotiate a buyout. Chow would receive the contract’s full amount if he is fired, but receives nothing if he quits.

Athletic Director Dan Guerrero said in November that UCLA would honor the contract extension.

Neuheisel has overhauled his staff since the Bruins finished a disappointing 4-8 season. Defensive coordinator Chuck Bullough and wide receiver coach Reggie Moore were fired.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported last week that Utah has contracted Chow about joining the Utes staff.

Johnson was hired as the 49ers quarterbacks coach in 2009 and was promoted to offensive coordinator last season. He has history with Neuheisel, as the two were assistants with the Baltimore Ravens. Johnson has also coached with Atlanta and San Diego in the NFL and was part of the Oregon State staff.

-- Chris Foster